The Big Tilt
Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Police / Detective, Suspense, Thriller
October 27, 2020
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished The war in Vietnam didn’t kill Peter O’Keefe. Neither did his run-in with ruthless crime boss "Mr. Canada" in the Arizona desert. But chasing after justice in his own hometown just might. A year after the private detective uncovered a criminal ring disguised as a mink farm in the Ozarks, O’Keefe is back home and back in trouble. A high school crush of O’Keefe’s turns up dead, but the details don’t add up. His pal, Mike Harrigan, has put his trust in the wrong people and now stands accused of crimes that could put him in the slammer. And O’Keefe? The mafia has put a price on his head. In their search for the truth, O’Keefe and his team will have to venture into the criminal underworld of their city, each step forward bringing them closer to the edge. As trouble begins creeping closer to home, O’Keefe must decide if he’s willing to pay the cost of justice — before someone else makes the decision for him.
Private Detective Peter O’Keefe has survived Vietnam, drug addiction and alcoholism, and three separate firefights with the local mafia. He is trying to keep a low profile and be a good father to his daughter Kelly while nurturing his fledgling private detective business. He has resolved, as he says, to become a “useful person.” He is unaware that local mob boss, Carmine Jagoda, on his prison deathbed, has issued an order to his men that O’Keefe must die.
While having no clue he is being stalked by Jagoda’s men, O’Keefe’s newest cases turn out to be painfully personal. He is hired by his high school classmate, star athlete Jerry Jensen, now a big-time real estate operator and mayoral candidate, to deal with a blackmailer. That blackmailer turns out to be an old flame of O’Keefe’s, Beverly Braverman Bronson. O’Keefe finds the once beautiful Beverly to be a heroin addict trying to kick the habit. As tragic events unfold, O'Keefe finds himself in the middle of his newest case. His investigation leads to a local strip club, the Cherry Pink, one of its anonymous owners being Jerry Jensen, a notorious den of illegal drug trafficking, gambling, and worse, and infested with a nest of new scumbags for O’Keefe to deal with.
O’Keefe’s situation becomes doubly painful when his childhood buddy, lawyer Mike Harrigan, who pulled O’Keefe out of the gutter and made him a private detective, is indicted for bank fraud. Harrigan swears, and O’Keefe is sure he is telling the truth, that Harrigan is being framed by the real culprits trying to bargain for lighter sentences and a prosecutor, Russell Lord, with a very personal grudge against him.